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Music is a fantastic hobby, and playing an instrument can be a great source of entertainment and joy. But times are tough and every budding musician can use a freebie every now and then! Even if you are taking lessons and have invested in a great instrument, having free extra musical resources in your pocket is recommended and useful!

We have put together a list of freebies for you to browse. From free software for editing music, to free tabs and backing tracks.


Ultimate Guitar has about a bazillion guitar tabs that you can browse by genre or difficulty. They have an easy search bar, so finding the tab you are looking for is not at all complicated.
Guitar Tabs has tabs listed alphabetically, and you can even submit your own.
Acoustic Guitar Tabs has a great archive of free tabs as well as free lessons, so you can learn how to read the tabs too!


If you are struggling to play your music at home, perhaps a backing track will help. Not only does it help you with improvisation and timing but also fills in all the other instruments! Many websites provide free downloadable tracks so that you can practice anywhere, both online and off. Guitar backing tracks has loads of tracks created specifically for guitarists. Backing Tracks has almost 100 000 tracks that you can download! Karaoke Version has a number of free backing tracks that come with variations, for example instrumental versions, or ones that include backup vocals. You can browse and find the tracks you like, and download them. Each track includes useful info such as Tempo and Key. And if you cannot find what you are looking for here, Youtube has loads of free backing tracks available online too.


Audacity, while it might look a little complicated, can be mastered through some trial and error. It has been providing one of the best free music editing tools for over 20 years. If you can get past the intimidating look of the program, and figure out how to use the plugins, you can master the art of music editing for free! TIP: Watch some tutorials online! Ocenaudio is far simpler to use, and may be a better place to start if you are just beginning to set up your home studio! This software also lets you listen to the changes you make to your audio files as you make them. Wavepad has some very useful features, like editing audio tracks in a batch (ie more than one at a time!) which can save you a lot of time! It has plenty of handy features like noise removal, compression and reverb as well as audio scrubbing! And if you need more free editing tools, check out this list which also includes a free lesson on getting started on music editing!


You can find plenty of free lessons online for every instrument. Most of them are introductory, but a free tutorial can really help if you are a bit stuck! MakingMusicFun has some free lessons for kids in everything from Recorders to Guitar and Trumpet! Alison offers full courses in music and music theory, all it requires is a sign up, which you can do easily with your email address. Learn how to write your first song for free with this online course from Future Learn! Study how to play the Jazz piano with The Jazz Pianist’s free courses! Udemy is well known to provide great lessons! If you are a serious musician and want to make a business out of your music or band, why not try the free Band as Business, Musician as Entrepreneur course.


Perhaps you need some music for your video or school project. If you don’t have time to make your own, there are plenty of places where you can legally download free music without any copyright issues. The Free Music Archive is a wonderful resource full of all kinds of different music that you can use free of charge! Jamendo also offers music for free. Soundcloud is not only a fantastic place to listen and discover music for free, but many artists allow you to use their music under the creative commons usage rights. Youtube now also offers free music to use in making a video, logging in grants you access to loads of royalty free soundbites and background music.

If you imagined a postcard of Spain it would no doubt incorporate a flamenco scene. Passionate musicians playing their Spanish guitars while dancers stamp and sing! The music style is synonymous with the country.

The rumbas, bulerias, alegrias, soleas, and the acompañamiento (accompaniment) of the singers and dancers, hands rhythmically clapping, voices calling out, really set the stage for the romantic notion of Spain.  When we listen to flamenco, its modulations and melismas, we are transported to old Arabian Spain with Islamic monochord songs. To the caves of Sacromonte opposite the imposing Alhambra…

Flamenco music is wrapped up in the history of Spain. Tracing its origin back to “Morisco” (Spanish Moors) roots in the southern regions, where Flamenco was born, it was consolidated as a musical genre in the 18th century in Andalusia. Its creation is also attributed to the gypsies and rapidly spread throughout the country by the nomadic Romani people. Originally arriving in Spain from India they travelled all over Europe. It is undoubtable that despite the mixture of different cultural and musical influences, flamenco comes from the people themselves as it documents their struggles and joys.

Flamenco has wound itself up in Spanish politics, and its popularity has gone through many ups and downs. It has been used as a tool to foster a Spanish identity as well in opposition to the government in protest songs.

Flamenco has since become popular all over the world, especially the United States and Japan. In  2010 UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The Toque, the Singing and the Dance are the main forms that flamenco uses to express itself.
Flamenco music is divided into songs or Palos. These are the various styles, and are classified by criteria such as rhythmic pattern,  chord progression and geographic origin amongst others.

 There are over 50 different palos! Some forms are danced while others are not. Some are performed only by men and others are reserved for women. The musical style of Flamenco, however, is still alive and well and so these traditional distinctions are breaking down, just as new ones emerge. The Farruca, for example, once a male dance, is now often performed by women too.

Generally speaking the most serious of the Flamenco songs are known as cante jondo (or cante grande), while less serious, naive forms are called cante chico. Forms that do not fit either are labled cante intermedio.

Because Flamenco has become an such icon of Spanish culture, it stands to reason that it has become romanticised and while many tourists expect beautiful dresses and foot stomping passion, not all Flamenco is performed on a stage with perfectly co-ordinated pieces. Flamenco is in the sound and stories expressed by the performers, a fierce glare here, a mournful tear there. It is an acquired taste. 

Barcelona is considered one of the great capitals of flamenco. We have listed several places here that we recommend you visit.

Where to see Flamenco in Barcelona:

23 Robadors
This place is one of the most important flamenco venues in Barcelona. In the heart of Ciutat Vella, next to the Liceu Theater, 23 Robadors, offers beautiful authentic flamenco shows. Expect sweat and tears, they open the floor to the crowd after shows for those that wish to jam into the small hours. On Tuesdays and Sundays the flamenco party starts at midnight. On Saturdays the group 23 Flamenco gives a unique and intimate show from 9:30 p.m. Make sure to check their current news on their facebook page.

The cost of the entrance is 3 EUR.

Performance times may differ due to Corona Virus but they are currently open.

The Flamenco Shows of the Tablao Cordobés

The Tablao Cordobés has managed to preserve the authenticity of flamenco and offers high quality shows with talented and internationally renowned artists. Andalusian in style, the tablao Cordobés is not very large, which allows you to appreciate the expression of the artists: pain, anger, love, jealousy … It is a great advantage to be so close to the artists in such an intimate setting. The performers transmit energy and passion through all the pores of the skin!
Respect and silence are the order of the day: you cannot eat or take photos (except for the last 10 minutes) during the show, to avoid distracting the artists in their improvisational moments. Each representation is unique.

The Show costs around € 45 and includes a drink. You can also opt for a show that includes dinner, which costs about € 79. Dinner is served before the performance and includes food based on typical Spanish dishes. Shows are performed every day at Las Ramblas 35, Raval (Liceu metro)

NOTE: Shows are currently only available from October 2020.

See flamenco at the Palau de la Música

The Palau de la Música is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Designed by the great architect Domènech i Montaner, the Palau is one of the jewels of Catalan Modernism.
Luckily this place is still a sumptuous performance hall today. The program is very varied and flamenco shows are often scheduled. You can undoubtably enjoy a performance of exceptional standard!

Currently the Gran Gala Flamenco, a work directed by Juan Gómez has been cancelled due to Covid 19, but keep an eye on the program and wait to see when future Flamenco shows will be scheduled. This show performed by a dozen flamenco artists of the new Catalan generation combines music and dance with rhythm and passion in an environment that makes your heart skip a beat. For the exceptional setting, Flamenco shows (or any show) at the Palau de la Música should not be missed!

Carrer del Palau de la Música, Born (Urquinaona metro)

Open for certain performances!

See a Flamenco show at the Palacio del Flamenco

The Palacio del Flamenco, with its enormous capacity for 380 people, located in an old theater in the center of Barcelona was transformed in 2006 into a space dedicated to the art of Flamenco.
They offer 3 shows every day! So you will surely be able to book a seat! From 6.30pm to 11.30pm.
The shows are professional with a focus on dancing and singing. Perhaps not as authentic as the smaller more intimate performances in smaller venues. Due to its size it’s a great way to experience the postcard of Spain, which some may prefer. And if you have limited time in Barcelona, this might be exactly what you require! If you are looking for a show where you are close enough to feel the heat and see the sweat on the musicians and performers, this may not be the place for you.

Tickets go for around € 35 (show and drink), € 15 for children between 2 and 12 years old
Find them at c/Balmes, 139; metro: Provença

NOTE: The Palacio del Flamenco is temporarily closed due to Covid 19

Flamenco with Los Tarantos

The oldest Flamenco tablao in Barcelona, their venue hidden in a corner of Placa Reial in the center of Barcelona is a great place to enjoy a drink and watch a Flamenco show. They say their stage has welcomed some of the most important flamenco figures of the last century and “it continues to feature authentic flamenco spectacles based on improvisation, programming both big names in the flamenco world and up and coming artists from the local and national scenes.” Currently closed, we hope they reopen soon!

If you are interested in studying Flamenco guitar, you can take an online course with us or in our studios in Barcelona! Our fantastic teachers are experts at explaining the fundamentals and soon you can jam with the pros at 23 Robadors!

Source and Wikipedia

Music is an important part of the human experience. Be it through song and dance, listening to music in a cafe or at home, going to a concert with your friends, or jamming with your band. People connect through music. Sound and rhythm are learned from early childhood, in fact babies start to hear and feel sound in the womb. Music helps us to develop and learn language as toddlers. It is part of our daily life, through movies, radio, and other places. You can sit on a terraza and buskers may pass you, playing on their instruments or singing. Music is such an integral part of being human.

As a parent you probably want to encourage a love of music, or as an individual maybe it is a hobby you would like to take up. Music can be an interesting career, with many aspects. From music production to teaching and performing. As a music school we understand the benefits of studying music and creating an environment where we can enjoy learning.

But studying music can also be daunting for a beginner, and without expert advice, it can be expensive and at worst, not a positive experience! With so many health benefits, from improving your cognitive abilities to actually being a physical workout and a stress reliever, studying music or learning an instrument should not be scary.

One vital aspect is your instrument! At Shine we offer fantastic rental instruments from our instrument rental department.

Imagine that your child wishes to start playing a musical instrument, or it’s been your dream to take a guitar class, but you just don’t know where to start. Perhaps you are spending a semester in Spain and don’t want to stop playing music, but shipping or flying with your instrument is not an option. Whatever situation you find yourself in, playing an instrument can be an expensive and often confusing endeavour as any professional musician will tell you.

This makes so much sense!

Test & Try

Hiring a musical instrument instead of buying one is an option that just adds up for multitude reasons. Not only can you try and test out a variety of instruments, but you also don’t have to make a huge investment in an instrument without some musical knowledge and know-how.

Grow with your Instrument

This is especially relevant when looking into instruments for children. More often than not, the instrument has to grow with your child. This can mean buying numerous instruments as your child requires a bigger size. A disaster if your kids decide they don’t want to play anymore, and also extra work if you have to keep buying and selling instruments.

Quality Instruments

Unfortunately as you will quickly discover, cheap instruments are difficult to play, tricky to tune, often sound bad, and in the end a cheap instrument regularly results in the player getting frustrated and not wanting to play. What a lost opportunity for musical discovery!

All your questions answered!

Long-term instrument rental is an affordable and flexible way to play an instrument. Hiring a digital piano or cello to play at home makes practice easy and practical. If you happen to move, you don’t have to lug a heavy or expensive instrument with you! You find that your musical experience will improve when you don’t have to worry about your instrument. If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with us or head directly over to our website, where you can hire your instrument online through a few easy steps!

We have a wide array of instruments from quality brands, from beginner instruments to advanced instruments.

Choose your instrument:

Pianos & Keys   
Guitars & Basses             
Drums & Percussion              

Want to know about how it works? Please click here for Rental Instructions.

Click to WhatsApp: +34 930 11 2282
Click to Call: +34 930 11 2282

Introducing Gabriele Cortinovis

* What was the first thing that made you interested in music?

Music has always represented a fundamental factor in my personal training since I was little. The search for new albums and artists meant broadening my horizons as a person and as an artist. Learning how to play was a natural consequence of my interests.

* Who inspired you to make music? Any famous musician or idol that you admire?

I started with English rock and my first reference artists were Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd and I soon discovered Jazz with artists like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Always in search of something new, I discovered through a friend some songs by Paco de Lucía and since then I have always devoted myself more intensely to Flamenco that fascinated me so much.

* Where does your passion for flamenco come from?

As one of my teachers said: Flamenco “has land”. It is a music that has its history and its geography, its sounds so peculiar and unique. Its harmonies and rhythms are not only the expression of a culture, but they are almost unique within the western music scene. For a guitarist it is a visceral challenge.

* Who did you study with?

I started studying flamenco in Lisbon and Paris with private teachers, and after a few years I traveled to Jerez de la Frontera and Seville where I was able to study with great names in flamenco such as Manuel Valencia, Augustin De la Fuente, Antonio Rey, Niño de Pura , Eduardo Rebollar, Pedro Sierra, Rafael Riqueni and many more.

I studied at the Christina Heeren Flamenco Foundation in Seville, and did the Master in flamenco guitar interpretation at the Esmuc in Barcelona with Rafael Cañizares.

* What is your favorite flamenco guitar piece?

I don’t usually have favorite pieces, nevertheless “Orate” by Diego del Morao and “Tauromagia” by Manolo Sanlúcar are among the records that have fascinated me the most.

* Where to see the best flamenco in Barcelona and (Spain)?

Here in Barcelona there are many quality tablaos but also a more “underground” world, highly developed.

* How would you describe the music you usually do?

I work especially with traditional flamenco and Argentine tango. Lately I am dedicating myself a lot to popular music, thanks to another band that I have in Italy and I also do some “experimental research”.

* How is your creative process?

I work a lot analyzing topics that I like to understand and be able to reproduce the elements that are most interesting to me to feed and structure what comes from inspiration.

* How has been your experience as a guitar teacher at Shine?

Since I started working at Shine I have grown a lot as an artist and as a person. Students give me an opportunity to see the many faces of music and how it moves each one. The environment in the School is also very pleasant and favorable to the exchange of knowledge between students and teachers.

* What do you think has been the greatest contribution you have made to the students you have worked with over the years?

It is very difficult to answer this question, it would be interesting to know the response of the students … I would say that my classes have the purpose of getting students closer to the music that they like the most through the guitar, and of course of working to be autonomous in understanding their favourite themes and be able to interpret them.

*Photography: Fabio Toschi

* How do you think the Internet has impacted the music industry?

It has made it possible for many to come into contact with new music and meet distant artists with relative ease.

On the other hand, music streaming platforms have made it more complex for an artist to earn their salary from recordings. It is a complex problem where costs and benefits must be considered. Something that I really do not share in the contemporary situation is the excessive attention of the public and of the musicians to the social networks that turn the love for music into a phenomenon of Voyeurism (for the public) and of exhibitionism (for the artist). Many times musical success no longer depends on the quality of the content but on the way in which one manages to teach it.

* If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?

In general, I think the most urgent thing is to resolve the artist’s constant precarious situation. I think it is a priority to reconsider the salaries for artistic services (classes, concerts and bowling) and also that the value of an artist is measured in its real production and musical quality and not so much in the number of followers.

* What upcoming musical projects do you have in mind?

I’m in a new stage of composition with my Italian band “Rayuela” with which we create “new popular music” and I’m also gathering ideas for a more Jazz-Rock project without any rules, we’ll see …

* Any advice or tips for those who want to study the guitar and enter the world of music?

I would say that it is important to lose your fear of studying music, students who do not doubt their possibilities are those who tend to advance more and with more serenity. Do not think that it is something unattainable at any age. Knowing that time spent on music is quality time that you spend on yourself.

Take a lesson with Gabriele!

The flamenco guitar

The guitar is a very versatile instrument, with which you can play songs from different musical genres. Flamenco, which is very popular in Spain and throughout the world, is one of them and flamenco guitar is one of the most popular varieties of Spanish guitar.

The origin of the word “flamenco” is inexact. It is believed to come from the cultural tradition that gypsies introduced to Spain during Arab domination since before the 15th century. However, it was during the 18th century when flamenco was recognized as a musical genre and elevated its artistic expression from the cultural fusion of Muslims, Gypsies, Spaniards, Africans and Caribbean that at that time coexisted in Andalusia.

The first historically documented flamenco guitarist dates from the year 1850 known as Francisco Rodríguez “El Murciano”. However, the oldest record of flamenco music dates from 1774 in the book Las Cartas Marruecas by José Cadalso.

In general, when we talk about flamenco we refer to the result of a harmonic mix of different cultures and musical styles that has an artistic expression of deep feeling through cante (singing), dancing and toque (the way the guitarist plays the flamenco guitar). Over time, other instruments such as the flute, cajon, and violin have enriched this music, which has allowed it to renew melodies and shape the flamenco that we know today.

The flamenco guitar is similar to a classical guitar but with thinner parts and less internal reinforcements. It usually has nylon strings and is used in toque.

This instrument is often equipped with a kick plate (pickguard), commonly made of plastic, whose function is to protect the guitar body from rhythmic beats.

Flamenco guitars are normally made of cypress wood, a material that brightens the sound and adapts very well to the characteristics of this musical style. In addition, it has a narrower box so that the sound is smaller and does not overshadow the singer’s voice.

Perhaps the main difference between a classical guitar and a flamenco guitar is that in the last one, the harmonic bars are located in a different way, which generates a more percussive and brilliant sound. 

Regarding posture, the flamenco guitarist often crosses his legs and supports the guitar he is highest on, while the neck keeps it almost horizontal with respect to the ground.

Since 2010, flamenco has been considered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

Some of our teachers offer recommendations for those who are interested in studying flamenco guitar:

César Munuera, graduated in flamenco guitar from the Conservatori del Liceu, assures: 

“Of course, it is essential to study Paco de Lucía, and there are many important works to study about him such as: Guajiras de Lucía, Almoraima, Aires choqueros, Fuente y caudal, Llanto a Cádiz, Percusión flamenca, Recuerdo a Patiño…”

The guitarist Manuel Fuentes comments: 

“Paco de Lucía is the benchmark for any flamenco, but then there are Vicente Amigo, Gerardo Núñez, Tomatito, etc., who are from a later generation but equally great.

In my opinion, in flamenco there are no specific works that are essential … the most important thing, beyond listening to guitarists, is listening to cante and the more traditional flamenco to understand the rhythm and singularities of each palo.
You have to listen to a lot and, above all, study a lot of technique in the most meticulous way possible … Since this genre develops specific guitar techniques that do not exist in any other style. “

The director of the Shine School of Music and expert in classical guitar, Milos Sajin, mentions some important works:

Our music school is located in Barcelona, ​​a place historically recognized for being one of the first spaces where flamenco flourished in Spain between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Have fun studying music with us! The classes we offer are personalized and for all ages. Although you are a beginner or already have a more advanced level, do not worry, our music courses will always be adapted to your needs and interests.

Find more information about our music courses, in person and online, at the following link:


Wikipedia, Flamenco Guitar: History, Style and Context de Manuel Peter (2003), publications of the Andalusian Palace (2020)